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ECC RAM on regular desktop, will it work?

Wek 34 April 16, 2012 at 08:49 PM
I just got some ECC Registered FB-DIMM RAM from a friend. I was wondering if I can use this RAM in a regular desktop with a GA-MA770-UD3 motherboard and a AMD Phenom X4 9600 Agena BE CPU.

If they work I could upgrade from a measly 2GBs but if they don't how much do you think I could get for for 4 sticks of 2GB?

Thanks

EDIT: CPU is a DR-B2 stepping.

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#2
it will run as non-ECC ram, but it will work

DDR2 can sell for quite a bit if you find the right buyer, maybe somewhere around $150 if they need the ECC as well
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#3
Quote from slapshot136 View Post :
it will run as non-ECC ram, but it will work

DDR2 can sell for quite a bit if you find the right buyer, maybe somewhere around $150 if they need the ECC as well
As long as I get the performance of of 4GB (only going to use 4GB) I'm happy. I don't really care for the ECC. Would there be a drop in performance when using ECC RAM in non-ECC system?

How slow is DDR2 667 (PC2 5300P) compared to DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)? Would an extra 2GB of DDR2 667 compensate for the speed difference?
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#4
ECC will generally work on a non-ECC MB, but only one way to know for sure - put it in there & see what happens.

Performance gain will depend on your OS - if you're running (or planning on loading) a 64-bit OS, then going from 2 to 4GB will absolutely make a difference in system performance.

If you're on 32-bit, then no, you probably won't notice much unless you've really been taxing the system's RAM.

So, it kinda depends on what you're doing. 32-bit OS, web/email/office apps, I'd go with 2GB of PC2 6400.

64-bit OS, more memory intensive apps - go with 4GB of 5300.
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#5
Quote from Wek View Post :
As long as I get the performance of of 4GB (only going to use 4GB) I'm happy. I don't really care for the ECC. Would there be a drop in performance when using ECC RAM in non-ECC system?

How slow is DDR2 667 (PC2 5300P) compared to DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)? Would an extra 2GB of DDR2 667 compensate for the speed difference?

http://www.crucial.com/kb/answer.aspx?qid=3692 answers your questions.

If you are comparing Non ECC to non ECC then you really won't notice a difference in real life use. A benchmark might detect a slight difference. In a system that is still using DDR2 (6+ years old probably) you have other components that are causing the slow down. Probably time to think about upgrading.
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#6
Sorry I havent replied been really busy.

I just tried the ECC RAM but the PC won't POST at all. I need to go back to my old non ECC RAM in order to POST. Is there a setting in BIOS that I need to enable to use ECC RAM? I know that ECC is supported by the motherboard and the CPU because crucial.com scanner also confirms this.
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#7
Quote from Wek View Post :
I just tried the ECC RAM but the PC won't POST at all. I need to go back to my old non ECC RAM in order to POST. Is there a setting in BIOS that I need to enable to use ECC RAM? I know that ECC is supported by the motherboard and the CPU because crucial.com scanner also confirms this.
It's not the ECC.

I'm not familiar with registered RAM, but having register chips between the RAM chips and the memory bus may slow the signals too much, so I'd go into the BIOS and turn off the automatic memory configuration and choose the slowest settings, including for the bus frequency. Then if the computer still won't boot, sell that expensive memory for unbuffered Samsung or Crucial.
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#8
Quote from larrymoencurly View Post :
It's not the ECC.

I'm not familiar with registered RAM, but having register chips between the RAM chips and the memory bus may slow the signals too much, so I'd go into the BIOS and turn off the automatic memory configuration and choose the slowest settings, including for the bus frequency. Then if the computer still won't boot, sell that expensive memory for unbuffered Samsung or Crucial.
I tried to change the speeds but I got stuck. There are so many settings that I'm not sure which I should be changing. I would appreciate if you could tell me exactly which settings I should change. Here's the list of the settings:

Setting --- Range values
DCTs Mode --- (Unganged or Ganged)
CAS # latency --- (3T to 6T)
RAS to CAS R/W Delay --- (3T to 6T)
Row Precharge Time --- (3T to 6T)
Min. RAS Active Time --- (5T to 18T)
1T/2T Command Timing --- (1T to 2T)
TwTr Command Delay --- (1T to 3T
Trfc0 for DIMM1 --- (75, 105, 127.5, 195, 327)
Trfc0 for DIMM2 --- (75, 105, 127.5, 195, 327)
Trfc0 for DIMM3 --- (75, 105, 127.5, 195, 327)
Trfc0 for DIMM4 --- (75, 105, 127.5, 195, 327)
Write Recovery Time --- (3T to 6T)
Precharge Time --- (2T to 3T)
Row cycle Time --- (11T to 26T)
RAS to RAS Delay --- (2T to 5T)

Thank you for the help.
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#9
I have no idea, but I'd add at least 1-2 clock cycles for each setting.

Can you find the detailed specs for the FB-DIMMs from the chip manufacturer? Click on the PDFs listed here:

Samsung:

http://www.samsung.com/global/bus...e?iaId=692

Micron:

http://www.micron.com/products/dr...rt-catalog
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#10
If what you have is actually a FB-Dimm I'm a bit concerned. The notch position is slightly different then standard DDR2 and if you got it to fit in your motherboard you may have damaged it. While some motherboards will accept ECC ram nothing short of server boards will accept registered of FB-Dimms. I'm pretty sure AMD never supported FB-Dimms period.
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#11
Quote from larrymoencurly View Post :
I have no idea, but I'd add at least 1-2 clock cycles for each setting.

Can you find the detailed specs for the FB-DIMMs from the chip manufacturer? Click on the PDFs listed here:

Samsung:

http://www.samsung.com/global/bus...e?iaId=692

Micron:

http://www.micron.com/products/dr...rt-catalog
Here's the datasheet for the RAM. Had to google for it as it was not listed on the Micron website. I have the 2GB MT36HTF25672 PC25300.

Quote from maramos View Post :
If what you have is actually a FB-Dimm I'm a bit concerned. The notch position is slightly different then standard DDR2 and if you got it to fit in your motherboard you may have damaged it. While some motherboards will accept ECC ram nothing short of server boards will accept registered of FB-Dimms. I'm pretty sure AMD never supported FB-Dimms period.
Well, I don't think the motherboard got damaged in the process of installing the RAM because it is working right now without any problem with the old RAM (non-ECC). The ECC stick do not look damaged either.

I just compared the notch to a regular stick and they are identical.

I dont know about the FB-DIMMs but on wikipedia it says "AMD has revealed in one of the slides that microprocessors based on the new K10 microarchitecture has the support for FB-DIMM "when appropriate"." I'm not sure what "when appropriate" means since AMD returns a 404 for that webpage referenced.
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#12
Quote from Wek View Post :
Here's the datasheet for the RAM. Had to google for it as it was not listed on the Micron website. I have the 2GB MT36HTF25672 PC25300.



Well, I don't think the motherboard got damaged in the process of installing the RAM because it is working right now without any problem with the old RAM (non-ECC). The ECC stick do not look damaged either.

I just compared the notch to a regular stick and they are identical.

I dont know about the FB-DIMMs but on wikipedia it says "AMD has revealed in one of the slides that microprocessors based on the new K10 microarchitecture has the support for FB-DIMM "when appropriate"." I'm not sure what "when appropriate" means since AMD returns a 404 for that webpage referenced.
Yeah, they aren't fb-dimms. Registered ECC and FB-Dimms are completely different. Anyway that being said they won't work on your board. Registered ram generally only works in higher end servers and workstations. They most certainly won't run on your desktop board.
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#13
Quote from maramos View Post :
Yeah, they aren't fb-dimms. Registered ECC and FB-Dimms are completely different. Anyway that being said they won't work on your board. Registered ram generally only works in higher end servers and workstations. They most certainly won't run on your desktop board.
Yeah, I sorta gave up all hopes. I guess I'll just sell them and take a loss.
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#14
Quote from Wek View Post :
Here's the datasheet for the RAM. Had to google for it as it was not listed on the Micron website. I have the 2GB MT36HTF25672 PC25300.
You might want to read the SPD values of a module that works with the motherboard and compare them to the SPD values in the data sheet for that Micron module and slow the BIOS memory timings so they match or are a bit slower.

I don't know if the problem with registered RAM is that the registers slow the signals too much or that they actually change them.
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#15
Look up the specs of your motherboard. If you have the manual, you have the specs and it will tell you what RAM is supported. If you don't have the manual, google it and get the info from the manufacturer site. My experience is that most desktop motherboards do not support registered, ECC memory. They support non-registered, non ECC, unbuffered ram.

Registered, ECC ram is used in server systems, as a general rule.
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